Intercomparison of k0-NAA Software Packages / 17.08.2023

NAA is the most common technique implemented in research reactors worldwide. In 2021, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) invited all known developers of k0 software packages to participate in an interlaboratory comparison (ILC). 

The purpose of the ILC was to assess the performance of different producers' k0-NAA software, which should, in principle, adhere to the fundamental principles of the k0-standardization method for Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA). The ILC was organized in response to a request from Dr. Nuno Pessoa Barradas, an IAEA officer, and was coordinated by Dr. Menno Blaauw at the IAEA Collaborating Centre in Delft, namely the Reactor Institute Delft in the Netherlands. Dr. Radojko Jaćimović from the Jožef Stefan Institute (JSI) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, provided all the necessary experimental data, including the characterization of an HPGe detector, flux parameters of an irradiation channel of the JSI TRIGA reactor, and short and long irradiations of the certified reference material BCR-320R Channel Sediment.

The k0 method for NAA has greatly facilitated the implementation of NAA at new facilities. It allows for the determination of elemental mass fractions, along with their associated uncertainties, without requiring sample-matched reference materials. As a consequence, several software packages for applying this method have been developed. On this occasion, all but one of the invited software packages participated in the exercise. This included the two widely available codes, as well as three codes developed within specific institutes for their research purposes.

The data and additional supplementary files can be accessed on the IAEA's Neutron Applications Portal dedicated to Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA):

Neutron Activation Analysis ( and Intercomparison of k0-NAA Software Packages | IAEA